Nature excursions, wildlife encounters and jungle voices at The Datai Langkawi
“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”
– Sir David Attenborough
The Datai Langkawi pays homage to nature in all facets: from environmentally considered architecture designed to echo and be enveloped by the natural surrounds, to indigenous herbs and spices creatively incorporated into restaurant menus, to the spa’s use of rare rainforest ingredients in traditional therapeutic remedies. The Datai Langkawi’s guests encounter nature’s spellbinding beauty and wildlife during a simple stroll around the resort, immersing themselves in nature’s wonders.
The Datai Langkawi’s ever-expanding and evolving series of nature excursions, wildlife tours and guest speakers offer a myriad of ways for guests to commune with the resort’s natural surrounds.
Nature walks, excursions and adventures
The island of Langkawi is a true ecological gem, home to Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Geopark and a fascinating and fragile combination of rainforests, mangroves and beaches, where an abundant and diverse array of flora and fauna flourishes. Developed by the resort’s Resident Naturalist, Irshad Mobarak, and his enthusiastic team, these nature excursions take guests to discover century-old secrets, incomparable beauty, rich wildlife and nature at its adaptive best.
- Rainforest Awakening – As morning light breaks, the forest awakens to the sights and sounds of birds, monkeys, squirrels and myriad other animals. Guests can join this guided walk to discover a thriving animal kingdom and a treasure trove of medicinal plants on The Datai’s doorstep.
- Rainforest Afterdark – As night begins to fall, guests can embark on a naturalist-guided exploration to unravel some of the virgin rainforest’s mysteries, its enigmatic animals and their unique calls, including bats, flying squirrels and flying lemurs.
- UNESCO Geopark Cruise – Guests may explore the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park mangroves, an insular mangrove forest that coexists with magnificent fossil-rich, near-vertical limestone hills that date back 400 million years. Tunnel through caves, identify unique flora and spot eagles, kites, kingfishers, mudskippers, fiddler crabs and monitor lizards.
- Mangrove Cruise & Swimming – The mangroves make for a wonderful study of survival and adaption, a unique ecosystem that thrives in an environment in constant and dynamic change due to tides. Guests observe white-bellied sea eagles, brahminy kites, herons, mudskippers and monitor lizards; enjoy a home-cooked lunch; and follow a short trail to a jungle pool for a refreshing swim.
- Kayak & Swimming Adventure – Row with the flow of the mangrove tide at Kubang Badak River, taking in the birdlife and wildlife. Return to shore for a home-cooked lunch, followed by a dip in a secluded stream complete with cascading pool.
- Jungle Trekking – Explore one of the many jungle trails around the resort. Bespoke hiking tours based on fitness levels and areas of interest, whether bird watching or medicinal plant spotting.
- Family Trekking – An easy trail through the rainforest that leads to a quiet jungle stream and cascading pool, perfect for families or as a couple’s escape.
- Birdwatching Walk – Early-rising guests rewarded by a ramble to observe some of the 260 bird species that call the Datai Bay rainforest home.
- Bird Photography Tours – Guests capture beautiful birds and diverse landscapes through the lens, from lowland broadleaf rainforest and mangrove forests, to reed beds, rice paddies, orchards, scrublands and mudflats.
Aside from the beautiful rainforest, The Datai Langkawi’s private Datai Bay is also teeming with fascinating and magnificent wildlife. Guests can join the resident Marine Biologist, Jonathan Chandrasakaran, to participate in the resort’s complimentary shoreline safari for an on-foot oceanic journey of discovery.
- Beach Walk: Life on the Edge – A complimentary 75-minute excursion to visit nature’s sand castles constructed by the Datai’s beach life and to learn about the habits of different species of fish.
- Wonders of the Drifting World – The microscopic organisms that fill the oceans are often forgotten, but they are vital to the survival of many organisms on earth, both in the sea and on land. Suitable for children aged six and above, this session sees Jonathan equip his team of mini-mes with small plankton nets, before heading out to collect some microscopic beings from the bay. Once everything has been successfully gathered, his team of intrepid trainee marine biologists examine their findings under a microscope and learn all about them.
- Fish for the Future – With the amount of fish in the world’s oceans continuing to dwindle, it’s vital that the youth of today learn the importance of sustainable fishing. Suitable for children aged four and above, this fun introductory activity explores the mangrove stream on The Datai’s beach, an important nursery for both freshwater and saltwater fish.
For guests eager to ignite their inner naturalist, delve deeper into the secrets and species of the 10 million-year-old rainforest, or discover expert accounts relating to specific wilderness topics, The Datai’s complimentary, weekly nature talks are not to be missed. From a secluded spot near the beach, Resident Naturalist Irshad Mobarak – accompanied by knowledgeable guest speakers – enthral visitors with captivating themes that include potent medicinal and aphrodisiac plants, mysterious nocturnal creatures, bird photography, snake handling, snakes that ‘fly’ and butterflies. Passionate about Langkawi and their chosen field, The Datai Langkawi’s programme of ‘Jungle Voices’ includes:
- Dr. Ghani, Healer and Herbalist – A Western medical doctor, academic and lecturer, Dr. Ghani felt a calling back to his roots and embarked on a journey of discovery, turning his expertise to Traditional Malay Medicine and the healing power of sacred rainforest plants.
- Ong Chiang Gaik, Butterfly Lover and Landscape Artist – From growing up surrounded by grey, concrete city walls to designing multi-sensory gardens that enchant with colours and fragrances, humming insects, chirping birds and swarming butterflies, Chiang is an authority on inspired gardens. The island of Langkawi is home to 500 butterfly species. The Datai Langkawi is currently creating a dedicated Butterfly Walk for guests to experience the natural habitat of butterflies.
- Sofian Zack, Bird Photographer – A self-taught photographer with a passion for nature and birdlife, Sofian has rapidly risen to greatness with his photography displayed in the Kedah State Museum and in the coffee table book ‘Birds of Langkawi Geopark’.
- Othman Ayeb, The Snake Man – A typical urban kid turned nature guide and ‘snake whisperer’, Othman is a Guinness Book of World Record holder; has been featured in National Geographic Magazine; and has contributed to National Geographic documentaries.
Datai Family Escapade Package
Rates start from RM1580+ (approximately AU$515 at today’s exchange) and includes overnight accommodation in a Canopy Deluxe room inclusive of daily signature breakfast for two adults and two children, return airport transfers from Langkawi International Airport, complimentary meals for children from the children’s menu, guided children’s activities led by resident marine biologist, guided morning or evening nature walks led by resident naturalist, welcome beverage and cold towel on arrival and in-room amenity, complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary mini bar (exclusive of alcohol and snacks), complimentary use of non-motorised water sports equipment, and a 3pm late check-out (subject to availability).
Rate is per room, per night and valid for a minimum two-night stay for two adults and two children below 12 years. Rate is subject to 10 per cent service charge.